Well this is a tough question because there’s just so much to say! I apologize if I can’t hit every point but I believe the response varies depending upon the research at hand.
With cases like this mice, I’m not sure if the end game is a robust species, nor do I have any reason to believe that it’s desirable. With that said, you’re taking a well researched species with minimal genetic alterations AND placing them into environments where they may or may not have been traditionally present. You’re putting them there to do a specific function and whether or not they can be controlled, nature finds a way to act on these species. The introduction of any species into any environment (or any technology for that matter) brings with it unpredictable risks. This has always been true and it will most likely always be true (although synthetic biologists may have something to say about this.)
This is why GMO’s are so terrifying because we don’t know what lies ahead, but we do know a bit about the past. Yet we tend to forget that to get where we currently are, entire populations/species had to starve or die. This is why, and I quote Philip Kitcher, there is “nothing special, or especially risky, about genetic modification of organisms.” Controversial? Totally, I guess. Furthermore what is meant by a robust stock is up in the air. Is a cheetah more robust than a genetically altered mouse? How will even “robust stocks” manage the changing climate or the competition for resources from here on out? It’s truly up in the air and I don’t think “nature” or the planet cares about this debate. It’s going to be around another 4 billion or so years.
If you’re reading this “nature” or the planet, grab yourself a beer and enjoy the shit show.
Disclaimer: This post has been brought to you by Monsanto.